Kwik Sew 3691 now has a hallowed place in my pattern stash. Hanging up a newly and successfully sewn garment in the closet induces calm. That’s why I make my clothes. A successful end result that sends me into a zen like state, even more than the activity of sewing. That is why I love a certain sewing book written by Nancy Erickson, “Do You Love What You Sew?”.
First, let’s discuss the fabric. It’s silk crepe, and was hiding for a few years in le stash; and the print….. oh. the. print. It’s an adaptation of the famous painting by Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles d’ Avignon, 1907. Thank goodness the print, below right, is an adaptation, because below left is the original. Because the print is “adapted”, I can wear it in public. My heartfelt thanks to the textile designer.
The painting is one of Picasso’s earlier works where you could still recognize the shapes of his subject (he went into cubism later). This style of painting was the beginning of “modernism” in western art. Experts call the style “modern primitive”, of which Picasso was one of the first adopters in the western hemisphere’s art world. The nude figures were based on ladies of a brothel in Barcelona (the picture was painted after he migrated to Paris, though); apparently, he lived near the red light district in Barcelona. According to experts, the subject matter also had to do with social commentaries of the day – the artist is depicting people in the lowest strata of society, where STD had become a huge concern; hence the hard, “primitive” painting style. Other than saying that the painting is a huge 8 ft square and hangs at the Met in New York, I will spare you other gory details.
Now, a little review about the pattern: I made two – simultaneously.
- It has three main pattern pieces, plus the facings, and is very easy and quick to sew. For the facings, you can use your own bias tape to use for finishing the armhole and neck, but I recommend the facings supplied with the pattern for the first run. You can see both options in the wrong side photos below. Left, the bias strip will need to be tacked down on the wrong side at center front. On the right is the facing supplied in the pattern.
- Seam allowances are ¼”, as earlier Kwik Sew patterns usually are. It bodes well never to forget it, since we’re all so accustomed to the 5/8” seam on other patterns.
- The armholes are a bit too large – so the next tunic will have smaller armholes.
- I love the collared version; it’s a bias collar and can be worn folded down neatly, to look almost like a turtleneck as in the pattern photo, or artfully arranged to let it fall where it may. I’ll be working on some variations of the collar when I next pull out this pattern.
- As always, I reduced the length of the tunic. For dress aficionadas this can be extended into a dress.
- If you like to wear tunics, I am recommending that you try this pattern. Last time I checked, it was on sale online for $3.99. I think it’s universally flattering – and isn’t that the whole point of sewing your own clothes?